Roof Beams have recorded an album ‘This Life Must Be Long’ filled with the most beautiful and expressive tracks. The instrumentation is delicate, the vocals raw and emotive, clever intelligent lyrics and themes and the production unfussy and raw.
The band is showcases the songwriting skills of Nathan Robinson who writes of the travails of normal life – bleak at times at others filled with a sense of optimism and hope.
The band’s name comes from J D Salinger’s novella ‘Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters’. Robinson’s lyrics range across the concepts of commitment, parenthood, politics, and faith with clarity and empathy.
The sound is very redolent of early REM with an indie/folk genetic core but discernible and intelligent lyrics: words filled with veracity and an earthiness. There is a rough and shambolic comfort to the instrumentation – almost about to collapse like the emotions that are written about, yet remaining firm and true.
Opening and title track is a crystal clear observation on the minutiae of life, beautifully expressed:
I’ve had a coffee every hour – it’s lost
it’s power since we had that baby of
She has the most beautiful eyes. I
saw you cry when they turned green
‘Carry On’ is a prime example of Robinson’s songwriting prowess – I blame it on my youth, what’s your excuse? – a commercial pop melody delivered with naked emotion and a force.
‘Clean Break”s brutal lyrics shine a light on the grace-filled poetry of Robinson – pushing out kids till they were 99, washing out wounds with wine . I am reminded of David Berman, the late great songwriter from Purple Mountains/The Silver Jews – songs that are brutal in their delivery but coming from a deep sense of compassion and heart.
The album is available now though the normal streaming sites and directly from the artist below: